Badly

Badly: (adv) in an unsatisfactory, inadequate or unsuccessful wayDictionary B

As a young man, I recall walking off a football field, having just been trounced by our opponent, 64-nothing. Even though I was fully aware that the idea was totally mythical, I still yearned for the earth to open up and swallow me.

The following Monday at football practice, the coach came in with a smile and said, “I’ve been thinking about Saturday’s game, and truthfully, boys, you didn’t do that badly.”

He then began to recite four or five general areas wherein we had stumbled along, culminating with the idea, “Well, at least no one got hurt.”

I know he meant well, but it was the worst thing he could have done. Because the word “badly” is good if it’s used by itself to connote that we’re fully aware that what just transpired should be taken out behind the barn and shot.

When you add onto it “not too…” it transforms it into a horrible excuse for an excuse.

Which, by the way, is inexcusable.

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